Fab Food Friday Fotos: Special Christmas Eve Super Soups & Recipes Edition… Because Baby, It’s COLD Outside
Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on December 24, 2010
SOUP. GLORIOUSLY WARM SOUP.
Yikes — cold, rain, and snow are slamming the UK, Europe, and the United States — record big freezes are circling the globe. This is anticipated to be one of the most chilling and wet Christmas Eves anyone has endured in decades.
What better way to warm the spirit, the heart, and the stomach than with a satisfying bowl of piping hot, homemade soup on Christmas Eve?
Because baby, it’s COLD outside!
Making your own soup is awesome… you can create it from just about anything you have on hand in the fridge or pantry. A hearty, healthy meal of soup costs mere pennies a bowl and is typically low in fat and calories, but high in vitamins and other good stuff. Substitutions or omissions of ingredients, creative experiments — most will work with homemade soups.
As I’ve professed before, I LOVE SOUP. Hence, this is a special hot soups-only post for a wintry Christmas Eve.
A wide assortment of fab soup photos and money-saving soup recipes — stay warm, stay frugal, stay safe, and Merry Christmas!
When available, recipes will always accompany my “Fab Food Friday Fotos” posts, with a guarantee that at least one recipe — most preferably a frugal recipe — will always be included.
The recipe for this Turkey and Wild Rice Soup of Emily Carlin’s uses up 3 cups of leftover turkey (or leftover chicken, if you prefer) — click here to go to her creative food blog, Back to the Cutting Board for the recipe.
I’m seriously excited about making this Rustic Cabbage Soup.
Cook/photographer Heather wrote that she used a cabbage soup recipe found at 101Cookbooks.com as her inspiration, but that she changed the recipe a bit, adding carrot, mushrooms, and black pepper and using black-eyed peas instead of the white beans in the recipe. Both versions sound heavenly to me.
The original recipe is posted below — Heather’s version is shown in the photo.
Rustic Cabbage Soup Recipe
Chances are I’m not making my own stock on the average weeknight. I am a big fan of Rapunzel Herb Bouillon (available at many stores), I use about 1/2 of one cube in a soup like this to kick things off – it makes a nice, light but flavorful broth. I’ll crush it into a powder and add it to the pot just before I add water. I had some Rancho Gordo flageolet beans already cooked so I used them here, but no worries if you have to turn to the can. For the vegans out there, just skip the Parmesan, and you’re in business.
* 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
* A big pinch of salt
* 1/2 pound potatoes, skin on, cut 1/4-inch pieces
* 4 cloves garlic, chopped
* 1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
* 5 cups stock (see head notes)
* 1-1/2 cups white beans, precooked or canned (drained & rinsed well)
* 1/2 medium cabbage, cored and sliced into 1/4-inch ribbons
* More good-quality extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
* 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Warm the olive oil in a large thick-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the salt and potatoes. Cover and cook until they are a bit tender and starting to brown a bit, about 5 minutes – it’s o.k. to uncover to stir a couple times. Stir in the garlic and onion and cook for another minute or two. Add the stock and the beans and bring the pot to a simmer.
Stir in the cabbage and cook for a couple more minutes, until the cabbage softens up a bit. Now adjust the seasoning – getting the seasoning right is important or your soup will taste flat and uninteresting.
Taste and add more salt if needed, the amount of salt you will need to add will depend on how salty your stock is (varying widely between brands, homemade, etc).
Serve drizzled with a bit of olive oil and a generous dusting of cheese.
Easy, cheap to make, delicious Italian Wedding Soup — photographer/cook Vicky L. wrote this about her modifications to the original recipe Food Network recipe and included the Food Network link for the recipe:
Chicken broth with smallish turkey meatballs and greens. Served with Parmesan on top.
Based on this recipe.
No tomatoes, mixed greens I’d frozen instead of escarole, dry breadcrumbs in the meatballs. Also, I didn’t bother to refrigerate the meatballs before cooking them.
Photographer/cook bookchen gives a simple description of how to whip up this beautiful, ultra-healthy Ginger Apricot Squash Soup.
Someone mentioned that the New Covent Garden Food Company had this in their line of soups. I couldn’t find the recipe, but adapted my basic squash soup recipe.
* Oil (olive pref.)
* Onions, 1-2 small/medium
* Butternut squash, 1 small
* Garlic, 1-2 cloves
* Fresh ginger, a thumb-sized knob, very finely diced.
* Dried apricots, cut into small pieces
* Stock or water (enough to cover the squash)
* Some apple juice (optional; perhaps half a cup?)
* Nutmeg, thyme, herbes de Provence
* Cloves, star anise
* Worcestershire sauce
* Balsamic vinegar
* Salt to taste
Soak the dried apricots in some hot water.
Saute the onions, garlic. Add the squash, apricots, stock/juice/water, nutmeg, thyme, herbes de Provence.
Cook squash till done. Blend in a blender.
Add the star anise and cloves.
Drizzle with Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar.
There are dozens or more variations of this wondrous peasant soup from France, French onion soup. Photographer/cook Luigi Anzivino provided his frugal version.
French Onion Soup Recipe
French onion soup is so easy to make, and exceedingly delicious. Here’s what you do:
Put a big pot (cast iron enameled French cookware works best) on medium high, and melt some butter and oil in it. Start slicing 6 medium onions, adding them to the pot as you slice them. Then let them get soft and brown, stirring them often. This will take about 20 minutes.
At this point, add salt, pepper and a little bit of thyme, then add about 1/2 a cup of dry Sherry. Deglaze the pot with it, let it evaporate.
Pour in 6 cups of beef broth. Bring to a boil, and turn off, let steep for however long you want. It’s soup, so it’ll taste better the longer it stays in the pot.
When you’re ready to eat, ladle soup into a bowl, add a few croutons on top, sprinkle with Gruyere cheese and some more thyme, and broil until cheese is melted and bubbling.
I was fresh out of thyme, so in a pinch, I substituted rosemary for it. You know what?, it actually works…
Utterly luscious-looking… photographer/cook feministjulie provided this recipe for her Mint & Snow Pea Soup:
Fresh Mint & Snow Pea Soup Recipe
Based on a Whole Foods Recipe
* 2 T unsalted butter
* 1/2 C. finely chopped yellow onion
* 1 finely chopped celery rib
* 5 C. water with vegetable bullion cubes added for flavor, or chicken broth
* 1 lb. snow peas (or sugar snap – the WF recipe said sugar snap, but I prefer the freshness of snow peas)
* 2 C. fresh spinach
* 1/2 C. packed fresh mint leaves (don’t use dried!)
* 1/2 C. whisked plain yogurt
* 1/4 C. fresh lemon juice
* Salt and pepper to taste
1) Melt butter in medium pot over low heat. Add onion and celery and cook covered, stirring occasionally, until they are soft, about 10 minutes.
2) Add the water with bullion/chicken broth, peas, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer for 15 minutes uncovered.
3) Add the mint and spinach. Continue cooking for about 20 more minutes until the peas are sufficiently softened, but still intact.
4) Remove the soup from heat and allow to cool somewhat. Purée the soup either using a blending wand (this is what I use and it makes life sooo much easier!), or in a blender in batches.
5) Once everything is blended, stir in lemon juice and yogurt, adding more salt and pepper if necessary.
This easy recipe for the Vodka Sauce Soup with Portabella Mushrooms is also on photographer Danube66’s blog.
No mention is made as to how many this will serve, but based on the measurements provided in the recipe below, I’ll guesstimate 2 – 4. Or just one very cold and very hungry athletic teenage son.
Vodka Sauce Soup with Portabella Mushrooms
* 1 jar vodka sauce
* 1 cup vegetable broth
* 1 cup milk
* 2 large portabella mushroom caps, cleaned and chopped
* fresh basil leaves, chopped
In a medium size pot, heat Vodka sauce, 1 cup broth and milk. Cook until boiling, simmer 5 minutes. Add mushroom caps and basil, simmer and additional 5 minutes. Add some fresh ground pepper to soup.
Link to the Sweet Potato and Sausage Soup recipe is at SmittenKitchen… photographer/cook John C. Abell tweaked the original recipe for vegans. He wrote:
Veganized with Imagine-brand organic no-chicken broth and Tofurky-brand Italian sausage with sun dried tomatoes and basil.
Simple and spicy vegetable soup, perfect for a winter’s night. Photographer/ cook Michael Verhoef wrote this about his soup creation:
Weather was a bit crappy yesterday and as I start school on Monday, I thought I’d make a big pot of soup 🙂
Chop the white part of a leek – fry in oil, chili (small amount) & garlic, add sliced mushrooms, 3 tins of chopped tomatoes, potato, carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, water, stock powder (to taste), celery (leaves included), dried borlotti beans.
Bring to boil and simmer for a time you feel comfortable with (about 30 minutes or so), add asparagus & angel hair pasta. Simmer until pasta is al dente. Serve with toast.
I love soup 🙂
A perfect hot soup for eating on cold nights or when you have a cold… I love reading food blogs that I’ve not yet explored Pithy and Cleaver – subtitle, “The Obsessions of Two Cooks.” Light-hearted reading, coupled with delicious recipes and fab photos. The recipe for this thrifty kale and fresh cannellini bean soup is posted below — there’s more pertinent background info on the site about the soup that I didn’t include here.
Bonus Link: Pop over and check out P&C’s Gift giving for slackers: The Holiday Gift Guide.
Kale and Fresh Cannellini Bean Soup Recipe
* 35 pods fresh cannellini
* 3 leeks, ends removed, cleaned carefully
* 4 cloves garlic, smashed
* Glug of olive oil
* 4 quarts homemade turkey stock
* 1 bunch lacinato kale
* One package high-quality cheese tortellini
* Salt to taste
Remove cannellini beans from their pods and discard pods.
Slice leeks into 2-inch lengths, discarding any dry dark green ends. Place cannellini, leeks, and garlic in a 6-qt dutch oven or heavy pot with a small glug of olive oil. Saute two minutes, then add turkey stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer 15-20 minutes, then check beans for doneness. They should be creamy and soft inside, though the skins will still have some strength.
Meanwhile, cook tortellini according to package directions.
When the beans are cooked, slice kale into ribbons and add to soup pot, reducing to low. Simmer until kale is tender, add salt to taste and serve with a few tortellini in each bowl.
Photographer Ulterior Epicure wrote this description about this unusual Ricotta Ravioli in a Sweet Pea Soup:
The ricotta ravioli, truffle oil, peppercorns and English peas are presented to the diner. The split pea soup is poured over the ravioli. This was heavenly – very fresh tasting pea and intense. The ricotta ravioli was velvety – wonderful! The red peppercorns, as well, added the perfect punch.
I love all soups, but I especially love the velvety, cream-based ones… this one with chicken and spinach is definitely calling my name. From photographer / would-be chef Daniel Eizans’ food blog (another one you should explore), Diary Of A Would-Be Chef:
Creamy Chicken Florentine Soup
For the past two weeks Vita has been pining over a soup they serve in the Detroit Medical Center’s Sinai Grace cafeteria. So, when I launched Souper Sunday last week, I knew it wouldn’t be long before I’d be forced to come up with a version of Chicken Florentine Soup. The most important thing for Vita was that it be creamy, but the most important thing in my eyes was that it wasn’t overpoweringly flavored by just chicken stock. I think we came up with something pretty tasty, even if it wasn’t as creamy as Vita was hoping for.
* 2 Cups Chicken Stock
* 1/2 Onion Diced
* 1 Cup Chopped Fresh Spinach
* 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
* 1/4 Tablespoon Pepper
* 1 Bay Leaf
* 3 Heaping Tablespoons Cornstarch
* 1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Red Bell Pepper
* 3 Cups chicken meat, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
* 1/2 Tablespoon Curry Powder
* 1 Cup of Half and Half
1. In a large stock pot, bring stock to a slow boil; simmer until reduced by 1/3.
2. Dilute cornstarch in 1/4 cup water, add to stock and stir until it thickens.
3. Reduce stock to a simmer. Add spinach, bell pepper and chicken meat.
4. Add curry powder to taste. Check for flavor and add additional salt and pepper if needed. Add heavy cream, heat for a few more minutes and serve.
Makes 8 cups.
Really simple and really tasty. It’s nice and light but still has some nice creaminess.
Oh, my, this is an exquisite work of art, almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
Photographer/cook Mary provided her recipe… gorgeous asparagus/yogurt soup here:
Asparagus Soup with Saffron Yogurt
* 2 bunches asparagus, ends removed
* 1 tbsp unsalted butter
* 1 small onion
* 2 pints chicken stock
* Juice of 1/2 lemon
Saffron yogurt drizzle:
* 1 pinch saffron threads
* 1/4 cup lukewarm water
* 1/2 cup Greek-style yogurt
Cut off asparagus tips and chop the stems into 1″ pieces.
In a heavy stockpot, melt the butter and sauté the onions until soft and translucent. Add the asparagus pieces (not the tips) and the chicken stock. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer about 10 minutes until asparagus is soft.
Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Puree with a hand blender or in small batches in a blender. Add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Bring soup to a simmer, add the reserved asparagus tips.
Soak the saffron in lukewarm water until the liquid is bright yellow. Add to the yogurt to create a pourable consistency.
Makes 4 hearty servings.
Such a colorful, fascinating soup — I want to try this recipe soon! Photographer/cook Brenda Wiley explains why she attempted making this soup for the first time and provides a link to the recipe:
I must admit it was the PICTURE of this soup in Nava Atlas’ Vegan Express cookbook that got me to make this for the first time. The NAME of the soup never would have. I never thought I liked coconut. But rather, what I’m finding is that I don’t like the grated stuff that gets put on cakes and cookies and such.
But I’m trying more and more recipes that use coconut MILK, and I’m finding I like that just fine. My first recipe that I tried that used coconut milk was something I figured would be a sure winner: homemade ice cream, and I couldn’t even pick up the coconut flavor there.
So I got brave and tried this soup and all I can say is YUMMMMMM!!!!
As with all the recipes in this cookbook, the soup is very quick to fix (15 minutes or so). It is quite low fat, since the recipe calls for Light Coconut Milk, which only has 4 grams of fat per can. I didn’t even use the tablespoon of olive oil that the recipe called for sauteing the veggies in; rather I sauteed them in a bit of broth instead.
Serve with crusty bread or for gluten free folks, a gluten free flat bread, and you’ve got a fabulous lunch or light supper!!
Photographer/cook dejahthoris provided the recipe and link to this fabulous-looking, easy lemon chicken soup:
Greek chicken soup revised for today’s bizzy cooks! Yummy and comforting! Since you stir the eggs in it does not form ‘drops’ like egg drop soup. If you want ‘drops’ just do not stir.
Lemony Chicken Soup
* 4 cups chicken, cooked and cut up
* 5 cups chicken broth
* 5 chicken bouillon cubes
* 3 carrots, sliced
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 1 cup rice, raw
* 1/3 cup lemon juice
* 3 eggs
* 1-1/2 teaspoons oregano
1. Combine broth, bouillon, carrots and onions in dutch oven with 5 cups of water and bring to a boil.
2. Add chicken and rice, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Whisk eggs and lemon juice and quickly add to hot soup while stirring so eggs do not cook instantly.
4. Add oregano and season with salt and pepper if desired.
Food photos selected and posted are credited and have Creative Commons-licensed content with some rights reserved for noncommercial purposes, unless otherwise noted.
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